Joshua Tabor is a digital learning specialist at Denton Independent School District in Denton, Texas.
Being raised by educators, Joshua grew up with a love of learning, which would ultimately serve as motivation to help others become just as passionate about their learning. Whether teaching high school students, college students, or fellow teachers, Joshua tries his best to share the joy that he was instilled in him by his household. He is always working to innovate lessons and find new and creative ways to engage today’s learners.
Joshua on Powerful Learning:
What’s one strategy teachers can use to incorporate Powerful Learning?
“When creating a lesson, selecting technology tools, and developing outcomes, I ask myself the simple question of ‘why?’ Why do they need to know this content? Why is it beneficial to them in their lives? If I can answer these questions, it helps frame everything else I’m doing. Students want to understand why a topic should be important and if I can explain that through the lesson, they are more open to learning.
This connects to powerful learning because it gets students into an inquiry mindset. When they question the ‘why’ of a lesson, it requires them to reflect on their own learning and start to question the new learning. This helps students move beyond traditional expectations and take control of their learning.”
What book has influenced your thinking on powerful teaching and learning?
“Grading for Equity; K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration; Reality is Broken by Joe Feldman; Charles R. Graham, Jered Borup, Cecil R. Short, & Leanna Archambault; Jane McGonigal.
Prior to reading this book, I graded my students the way I had always been graded but never gave much thought to why I used that system. This book flipped all that and blew my mind with better ways of grading that were backed by research, so my students are engaging in learning that is truly enriching! I really enjoyed how this book mixed textual information with included links to helpful videos, infographics, and more. All the research was backed by data and I thought it provided a strong foundation for any teacher interested in teaching blended learners.
Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal is another book that had a profound impact on me as an educator. Being a gamer myself, I have always enjoyed the concept of gamification. This book really dove into how gaming and gamification of education were not only fun but a successful tool for deep student learning.”
Ask Joshua about:
“Online learning methods, effective blended learning tools, and gamification. I love it all and love chatting about them!”
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